News of the Weird 6/21/11

A 53-year-old man with failing eyesight and who had recently undergone intestinal surgery told Sonoma, Calif., police that on Sunday afternoon, May 1, a woman had come to his home and instructed him to drop his pants and get face-down on the bed so that she could administer an enema. He said he assumed his doctor had sent her and thus complied, and it was over in two minutes, and she was gone. The doctor later said he had no idea who the woman was. (In the 1970s, in the Champaign, Ill., area, Michael Kenyon operated similarly as the “Illinois Enema Bandit” — and inspired the late Frank Zappa’s “Illinois Enema Bandit Blues.”)
The Entrepreneurial Spirit!

  • Several funeral homes in the United States have drive-thru windows to serve rushed mourners or those stressed by the parlor experience. “Not quite as emotional,” said one visitor to the Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton, Calif., referring to the need not to linger in the queue of bereaved, idling motorists. The Adams facility was even more popular during the peak of gang murders in the area, according to an April Los Angeles Times report, because the drive-thru window’s bulletproof glass rendered unnecessary the precarious indoor service in which gangbangers tried to further desecrate late rivals’ corpses.
  • Noses Know: (1) In April, two Italian entrepreneurs introduced a perfume meant to evoke the scents of a person’s blood, varying by type (A, B, AB, O) — but with no actual blood. A prominent member of the U.S. “vampire community” fondly described the “intriguing” olfactory sensations of Type B (the “black cherry, pomegranate and patchouli infusions”) and Type O (“raspberry, rose hips and birch”). Another “vampirist” called the whole idea “cheesy.” (2) Artist Charity Blansit (aka Cherry Tree) told AOL News in May that she has been working on a fragrance based on her own urine (although not prepared to bring it to market yet), enhanced mainly with sugar.

Fine Points of the Law
Because of a loophole in Michigan law (which, at press time, legislators were working to fix), a winner of the “Make Me Rich” lottery game in July 2010 (publicized value: $2 million) has been openly receiving the same food-stamp allotment he had been receiving before he won. In May 2011, confronted by WNEM-TV in Saginaw, winner Leroy Fick was defiant about his food stamps. Currently, eligibility is based on regular income, and Fick had taken his payoff last year in one lump sum.
Medical Marvels
(1) Dugan Smith, 13, is almost as good as new, having overcome an extremely rare malignant tumor on his thigh bone. A surgeon at Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital removed the middle of Smith’s leg, turned the bottom of it around so that the back faces the front, and reconnected the parts. (2) According to a February report in China’s Wuhan Morning News, a 55-year-old farmer from Jiayu county in Hubei province finally has a functioning anus. His congenital condition had required him to restrict his diet severely and to “squeeze stools out with his hands.”
Navel Observatory
The Belly Button Biodiversity project at North Carolina State University has begun examining the “faunal differences” in the microbial ecosystems of our navels, to foster understanding of the “tens of thousands” of organisms crawling around inside (almost all benign or even helpful). An 85-year-old man in North Carolina may have “very different navel life” than a 7-year-old girl in France, according to a May Raleigh News & Observer report. So far, only the organisms themselves and the host’s demographics have been studied; other issues, such as variations by hairiness of navel, remain.
Leading Economic Indicators
Good Jobs: (1) Prison Guard (“the greatest entry-level job in California,” according to an April Wall Street Journal report highlighting its benefits over a typical job resulting from a Harvard University education). Starting pay is comparable; loans are not necessary (since the guard “academy” actually pays the student); and vacation time is more generous (seven weeks, five paid). One downside: The prison system is more selective (Harvard accepts 6.2 percent of applicants versus the guard service’s fewer-than-1 percent of 120,000 applicants). (2) California taxpayers were also astonished to learn in May that several beach communities (led by Newport Beach) pay some lifeguards more than $100,000 annually in salary and benefits. (Generally, those are for long-time and supervisory jobs; ordinary “summer job” lifeguards typically make $16 to $22 an hour.)
Weird Animals

  • Cat Failing to Know Its Role: In Cleveland, Texas (near Houston), a man had to be airlifted to an emergency trauma unit after losing a fight with a house cat. He was even armed with a knife as he took on the beast, but somehow the attacking cat caused him to lose his balance and fall on the blade.
  • Procreation Interventions: (1) Because female giant tortoises are lackadaisical about mating, the Knoxville (Tenn.) Zoo in May temporarily moved its two males, Al and Tex, to Zoo Atlanta to encourage Knoxville females Patches, Corky and Standup to yearn for them. Tex, by the way, is 90 years old, and Al is 130 (and hasn’t had a date since 1983, according to a May Knoxville News-Sentinel story). (2) Hopewell Township, N.J., officials, responding to noise complaints in April, passed an ordinance limiting rooster access to hens to only 10 days a year. (The chickens also must, of course, be “disease-free.”)

Copyright 2011 Chuck Shepherd.
Distributed by Universal UClick.

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